The latest medical research on General Practice (Family Medicine)

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about general practice (family medicine) gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Understanding women's perspectives and information needs about shared follow-up care for early breast cancer: a qualitative study.

Family Practice

Shared breast cancer follow-up care involving a breast cancer specialist and a general practitioner (GP) has been demonstrated to be effective, yet barriers to participation in this model by women remain. This study explores the responses of women who recently finished active treatment for early breast cancer (EBC) to a proposed model of shared follow-up care to understand the type of information needed to support participation.

Qualitative study based on focus groups with women with EBC in the early stage of follow-up care from across metropolitan, regional and rural settings in Australia. Discussions were transcribed and thematic analysis is undertaken.

Four focus groups were conducted, involving 31 women aged between 32 and 78 years. The discussion focused on two topics. In the first topic 'Current experiences of follow-up care', two themes emerged: (i) follow-up as a continuation of active treatment; (ii) GPs involvement in care during active treatment influence attitudes to shared follow-up care. In the second topic area 'Perceptions of shared follow-up care' four themes emerged: (i) a need for evidence regarding model effectiveness; (ii) choice; (iii) concerns regarding capacity and capability of GPs to deliver care and (iv) the need for clear communication between GPs, specialists and women.

Women need information regarding the evidence for the effectiveness of shared follow-up care to assure them it does not pose a risk to their health outcomes. Clear descriptions of GP and specialist roles and the opportunity to jointly decide participation is essential for the model to be adopted.

Community: The Heart of Family Medicine.

Fam Med

Family physicians have the privilege of caring for patients throughout their lifespan and witness the impact all facets of life have on the health ...

The Importance of Interprofessional Practice in Family Medicine Residency Education.

Fam Med

The practice of family medicine is undergoing rapid transformation, with increasing recognition that family physicians can most effectively meet th...

Adding saliva testing to oropharyngeal and deep nasal swab testing increases PCR detection of SARS-CoV-2 in primary care and children.

Medical Journal of Australia

To compare the concordance and acceptability of saliva testing with standard-of-care oropharyngeal and bilateral deep nasal swab testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) in children and in general practice.

Numbers of cases in which SARS-CoV-2 was detected in either specimen type by real-time polymerase chain reaction; concordance of results for paired specimens; positive percent agreement (PPA) for virus detection, by specimen type.

SARS-CoV-2 was detected in 54 of 1050 people with assessable specimens (5%), including 19 cases (35%) in which both specimens were positive. The overall PPA was 72% (95% CI, 58-84%) for saliva and 63% (95% CI, 49-76%) for oropharyngeal-nasal swabs. For the 35 positive specimens from people aged 10 years or more, PPA was 86% (95% CI, 70-95%) for saliva and 63% (95% CI, 45-79%) for oropharyngeal-nasal swabs. Adding saliva testing to standard-of-care oropharyngeal-nasal swab testing increased overall case detection by 59% (95% CI, 29-95%). Providing saliva was preferred to an oropharyngeal-nasal swab by most participants (75%), including 141 of 153 children under 10 years of age (92%).

In children over 10 years of age and adults, saliva testing alone may be suitable for SARS-CoV-2 detection, while for children under 10, saliva testing may be suitable as an adjunct to oropharyngeal-nasal swab testing for increasing case detection.

Health-related quality of life associated with nocturnal leg cramps in primary care: a mixed methods study.

Family Practice

Although nocturnal leg cramps are common, little research is available about their impact on quality of life. This mixed-methods study explored the impact of nocturnal leg cramps on health-related quality of life (HRQoL).

The study included primary care patients (>50 years) who reported suffering from nocturnal leg cramps (2016-2017). In the quantitative phase, patients completed a questionnaire about their HRQoL (SF-36) and the frequency of their cramps, and we computed the SF-36 scores. Then, we conducted a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews with patients with various levels of HRQol to explore their perception of the impact of cramps on their lives.

A total of 114 patients (49%) agreed to participate in the quantitative study (mean age: 71, women: 62%) and 15 patients were included in the qualitative study (mean age: 69, women: 67%). The number of cramps in the previous week was low (mean: 1.6 (SD 1.5)). The SF-36 mean physical and mental summary scores were 43 and 50, respectively, and the domain scores were similar to a comparative general population. Whilst some patients reported little interference with their daily lives, others reported a major decrease in their HRQoL. SF-36 scores were not sufficient to describe the cramp-related impairment, as patients from all levels of SF-36 scores reported major impacts of NLC in the interviews.

Some patients describe a specific impact of cramps on their lives, regardless of their HRQoL. These patients should be the target of future intervention trials.

The effectiveness of teleconsultations in primary care: systematic review.

Family Practice

The COVID-19 pandemic has focussed attention on models of healthcare that avoid face-to-face contacts between clinicians and patients, and teleconsultations have become the preferred mode of primary care delivery. However, the effectiveness of remote consultations in this setting remains unclear.

To evaluate the impact of telephone or video consultations compared to those conducted face-to-face on key patient-relevant outcomes and healthcare utilisation in primary care, mental health and allied health services, which have had a critical role in the management of the wider and longer-term consequences of COVID-19.

A systematic review of primary studies comparing telephone or video consultations versus face-to-face visits, following the PRISMA guidelines.

Overall, consultations delivered by telephone and videoconference were as effective as face-to-face in-person visits to improve clinical outcomes in adults with mental health conditions and those attending primary care services. Patient satisfaction with telephone and video consultations and the therapeutic alliance was high across the studies. However, high discontinuation rates in patients receiving teleconsultations indicate this may not be a suitable modality of healthcare delivery for all patients. Teleconsultations offer significant patient time savings in primary care, but appropriate implementation, including training of healthcare professionals and management of technical issues, is essential to ensure effective and valuable clinical interventions.

Teleconsultations via telephone or videoconference are an effective alternative to face-to-face consultations for many patients attending primary care and mental health services. Teleconsultations have the potential to deliver time-efficient and lower-cost interventions at a distance while improving access to healthcare.

Appendicitis in children with acute abdominal pain in primary care, a retrospective cohort study.

Family Practice

General practitioners (GPs) face a diagnostic challenge when assessing acute abdominal pain in children. However, no information is available on the current diagnostic process or the diagnostic accuracy of history and physical examination in primary care settings.

To describe the diagnostic process for acute abdominal pain among children in primary care, focusing on appendicitis, and to assess the diagnostic accuracy of individual clinical features.

A retrospective cohort study in Dutch primary care, using the Integrated Primary Care Information database. Children are aged 4-18 years were included if they had no history of appendicitis and presented with acute abdominal pain during 2010-2016. We evaluated GP management and the diagnostic accuracy of clinical features for appendicitis. Pre- and post-test probabilities were calculated for each clinical feature and compared with the probability of appendicitis after GP assessment.

Out of 5691 children, 944 (16.6%) were referred and 291 (5.1%) had appendicitis, of whom 55 (18.9%) were initially misdiagnosed. The pre-test probability (i.e. of appendicitis in evaluated children) varied from 3% (rigidity) to 28% (migratory pain). Concerning post-test probabilities, positive values for rebound pain (32.1%) and guarding (35.8%) and the negative value for right lower quadrant tenderness (0.6%) were superior to overall GP assessment (29.6% and 1.1%, respectively).

GP assessment will miss almost one-fifth of children with appendicitis at their first presentation, and about two-third of GP referrals will be negative. The presence of specific signs can increase or decrease the likelihood of appendicitis, emphasising the importance of a physical examination.

The experiences of Chinese general practitioners in communicating with people with type 2 diabetes-a focus group study.

BMC Family Practice

China has more ascertained cases of diabetes than any other country. Much of the care of people with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) in China is managed by GPs and this will increase with the implementation of health care reforms aimed at strengthening China's primary health care system. Diabetes care requires effective communication between physicians and patients, yet little is known about this area in China. We aimed to explore the experiences of Chinese GPs in communicating with diabetes patients and how this may relate to communication skills training.

Focus groups with Chinese GPs were undertaken. Purposive sampling was used to recruit 15 GPs from Guangzhou city in China. All data were audio-recorded and transcribed. A thematic analysis using the Framework Method was applied to code the data and identify themes.

Seven males and 8 females from 12 general practices attended 4 focus groups with a mean age of 37.6 years and 7.5 years' work experience. Four major themes were identified: diversity in diabetic patients, communication with patients, patient-doctor relationship, and communication skills training. GPs reported facing a wide variety of diabetes patients in their daily practice. They believed insufficient knowledge and misunderstanding of diabetes was common among patients. They highlighted several challenges in communicating with diabetes patients, such as insufficient consultation time, poor communication regarding blood glucose monitoring and misunderstanding the risk of complications. They used terms such as "blind spot" or "not on the same channel" to describe gaps in their patients' understanding of diabetes and its management, and cited this as a cause of ineffective patient-doctor communication. Mutual understanding of diabetes was perceived to be an important factor towards building positive patient-doctor relationships. Although GPs believed communication skills training was necessary, they reported rarely received this.

Chinese GPs reported facing challenges in communicating with diabetes patients. Some of these were perceived as being due to the patients themselves, others were attributed to system constraints, and some were seen as related to a lack of clinician training. The study identified key issues for the development of primary care-based management of diabetes in China, and for developing appropriate communication skills training programs for the primary care workforce.

From their own perspectives: a qualitative study exploring the perceptions of traditional health practitioners in northern Uganda regarding cancers, their causes and treatments.

BMC Family Practice

Many cancer patients in the low- and middle-income countries seek care with traditional health practitioners (THPs) and use traditional and complementary medicines (T&CMs) for treatment of cancers. Little is known about the perceptions and influence of THPs on cancer patients' help-seeking and treatment decisions. We aimed to explore perceptions of THPs regarding cancers, cancer causes, and preferred treatments for cancers, in order to identify aspects that can inform interventions to improve cancer outcomes in Uganda.

We conducted this ethnographic study in northern Uganda. In-depth interviews were conducted at the respondents' homes in quiet, open places, and in the absence of none- respondents. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim within a week of the interviews. Thematic qualitative analysis approaches were used to identify themes and subthemes.

We included 21 respondents in the study; most were male (16/21), married, with median age of 59 years (range 39 - 80). Most respondents perceived cancer as a new and challenging disease, while one respondent thought of cancer as a result of an imbalance within the body. Most confessed unawareness of the causes of cancers, but believed that cancer could result from the interplay of a number of factors including poor diets, ingestions of chemical agents, and assaults by the spirits of the dead. Some reported that cancers (especially of women's genital tracts) were sexually transmitted, or caused by accumulation of dirt. Only few healers treated cancers. Most respondents reported that they referred cancer patients to biomedical facilities, sometimes after they have first used their medicines. Most respondents hoped that collaborative research with scientists could help them identify potent T&CMs that cure cancers.

Traditional health practitioners require training on cancer causes, symptoms and signs, and the necessity for prompt initiation of effective treatments in order to improve cancer outcomes. The predisposition of the majority of respondents to refer cancer patients to biomedical services sets a fertile ground for meaningful cooperation between biomedical and traditional health practices. The national health system in the low- and middle-income countries could formally recognize traditional health practices as a component of the national healthcare system, and encourage the two to practice side by side.

What is a prevention visit? A qualitative study of a structured approach to prevention and screening - the BETTER WISE project.

BMC Family Practice

This qualitative study is a sub-component of the BETTER WISE pragmatic, cRCT, trial registration ISRCTN21333761 (date of registration 19/12/2016).

Primary care providers (PPs, physicians and their staff) participated in 14 focus groups and 19 key informant interviews to share their perspectives on the BETTER WISE project. Of 527 patients who agreed to participate in the study and were invited for a BETTER WISE prevention visit with a PP, we received 356 patient feedback forms. We also collected field notes and memos and employed thematic analysis using a constant comparative method focusing on the BETTER WISE prevention visit.

We identified four key themes related to a BETTER WISE prevention visit: 1) Creating a safe environment and building trust with patients: PPs provided sufficient time and a safe space for patients to share what was important to them, including their concerns related to poverty, alcohol consumption, and mental health, topics that were often not shared with physicians; 2) Providing personalized health education: PPs used the BETTER WISE tools to provide patients with a personalized overview of their health status and eligible screening; 3) Non-judgmental empowering of patients: Instead of directing patients on what to do, PPs evoked patients' preferences and helped them to set goals (if desired); and 4) Integrating care for patients: PPs clarified information from patients' charts and surveys with physicians and helped patients to navigate resources within and outside of the primary care team.

The results of this study underscore the importance of personalized, trusting, non-judgmental, and integrated relationships between primary care providers and patients to effectively address chronic disease prevention, screening, and cancer survivorship as demonstrated by the BETTER WISE prevention visits.

Illness perception and health care use in individuals with irritable bowel syndrome: results from an online survey.

BMC Family Practice

Individual illness perception is known to influence a range of outcome variables. However, little is known regarding illness perception in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and its relation to the use of the health care system. This study hypothesised a relationship between illness perception and inappropriate health care use (under-, over- and misuse).

An internet-based, cross-sectional study in participants affected by IBS symptoms was carried out (April - October 2019) using open questions as well as validated standardized instruments, e.g. the illness perception questionnaire revised (IPQ-R) and its subscales. Sub-group comparisons were done non-parametrically and effect sizes were reported. Potential predictors of (1) conventional health care utilisation and (2) utilisation of treatment approaches with lacking or weak evidence regarding effectiveness in IBS were examined with logistic regression analyses and reported as odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval.

Data from 513 individuals were available. More than one-third (35.7%) of participants were classified as high utilisers (> 5 doctor visits during the last year). Several indicators of inappropriate health care use were detected, such as a low proportion of state-of-the-art gynaecological evaluation of symptoms (35.0% of women) and a high proportion of individuals taking ineffective and not recommended non-steroidal antirheumatic drugs for IBS (29.4%). A majority (57.7%) used treatment approaches with lacking or weak evidence regarding the effectiveness in IBS (e.g. homeopathy). Being a high utiliser as defined above was predicted by the perceived daily life consequences of IBS (IPQ-R subscale "consequences", OR = 1.189 [1.100-1.284], p ≤ 0.001) and age (OR = 0.980 [0.962-0.998], p = 0.027). The use of treatment approaches with lacking or weak evidence was forecasted by the perceived daily life consequences (OR = 1.155 [1.091-1.223], p ≤ 0.001) and gender (reference category male: OR = 0.537 [0.327-0.881], p = 0.014), however effect sizes were small.

Daily life consequences, perceived cure and personal control as aspects of individual disease perception seem to be related to individuals' health care use. These aspects should be a standard part of the medical interview and actively explored. To face inappropriate health care use patients and professionals need to be trained. Interdisciplinary collaborative care may contribute to enhanced quality of medical supply in IBS.

Drug-induced liver injury in Australia, 2009-2020: the increasing proportion of non-paracetamol cases linked with herbal and dietary supplements.

Medical Journal of Australia

To compare the characteristics and outcomes of drug-induced liver injury (DILI) caused by paracetamol and non-paracetamol medications, particularly herbal and dietary supplements.

90-day transplant-free survival; drugs implicated as causal agents in DILI.

Adults admitted with DILI to the Gastroenterology and Liver Centre at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney (a quaternary referral liver transplantation centre), 2009-2020.

A total of 115 patients with paracetamol-related DILI and 69 with non-paracetamol DILI were admitted to our centre. The most frequently implicated non-paracetamol medications were antibiotics (19, 28%), herbal and dietary supplements (15, 22%), anti-tuberculosis medications (six, 9%), and anti-cancer medications (five, 7%). The number of non-paracetamol DILI admissions was similar across the study period, but the proportion linked with herbal and dietary supplements increased from 2 of 11 (15%) during 2009-11 to 10 of 19 (47%) during 2018-20 (linear trend: P = 0.011). Despite higher median baseline model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) scores, 90-day transplant-free survival for patients with paracetamol-related DILI was higher than for patients with non-paracetamol DILI (86%; 95% CI, 79-93% v 71%; 95% CI, 60-82%) and herbal and dietary supplement-related cases (59%; 95% CI, 34-85%). MELD score was an independent predictor of poorer 90-day transplant-free survival in both paracetamol-related (per point increase: adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.19; 95% CI, 1.09-3.74) and non-paracetamol DILI (aHR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.14-1.36).

In our single centre study, the proportion of cases of people hospitalised with DILI linked with herbal and dietary supplements has increased since 2009. Ninety-day transplant-free survival for patients with non-paracetamol DILI, especially those with supplement-related DILI, is poorer than for those with paracetamol-related DILI.